The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Celadon Trucking for allegedly requiring prospective employees submit to illegal medical tests.
The truckload carrier “unlawfully subjected applicants to medical examinations and failed to hire qualified applicants because of disabilities or perceived ones,” the EEOC said in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Indiana Feb. 29.
Celadon is accused of requiring job applicants to take medical exams before making conditional offers of employment to them. The results of those exams were used to disqualify applicants, theEEOC said, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The exams also didn’t meet standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the EEOC claimed. The agency said it is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the job seekers, as well as other relief.
Celadon Chairman and CEO Steve Russell was not immediately available for comment on the allegations. The $557 million trucking company has been acquiring smaller haulers in recent months to bolster its pool of truck drivers.
As the federal CSA initiative ties carrier safety ratings more closely to driver behavior, trucking companies are tightening their driver qualifications. At the same time, carriers say they are having difficulty finding drivers to seat trucks.
Those motor carriers are at risk of running afoul of the ADA and the EEOC unless they carefully review changes to hiring and management practices.
“Celadon and all motor carriers must conduct medical examinations in accordance with the ADA,” said Laurie Young, regional attorney for the Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC.
“Under the ADA, an employer cannot conduct a medical examination of a job applicant until the employer has given the applicant a job offer conditioned upon the applicant passing the examination. The EEOC will enforce these obligations.”
The agency is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as other relief.